Contraceptive use among American women who have had sex (2006-2008). Note: Excludes natural family planning
Remember, the parties in question here were the federal government and the Catholic hospitals. And what have those Catholic hospitals said?
The president of the Catholic Health Association, a trade group representing Catholic hospitals that had fought against the birth control requirement, said the organization was pleased with the revised rule.Now, of course, the Bishops may not be happy. But that's because they don't want any woman to receive birth control coverage. And of course, those opportunistic Republicans are left hanging—railing against a compromise that makes both sides happy because, quite frankly, they have now been denied a talking point.
"The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed," Sister Carol Keehan said in a statement.
We should be under no illusions, Republicans love to talk about Obama's war on religion, and they're going to keep pretending that's the case through the November election. But they'll be doing so from a position of ignorance and blatant dishonesty (which their Jesus supposedly forbids).
Remember, Obama was never on bad footing. As much as conservatives freaked out about it, polls consistently showed strong support—even among Catholics—for providing birth control coverage through their health insurance. This was a winning issue from day one.
But it has become an even bigger victory after this compromise.
A genuine compromise. By arriving at a solution that satisfied all direct parties to the controversy, Obama finally gets one of his desperately desired compromises. And it's a compromise that gives up nothing—women will still be able to make their own decisions on birth control without having to run it past a bureaucrat, politician, or church official.
Obama scores with his base. The president has shown that sometimes, he actually can stand up for what's right in the face of a full-on conservative shit storm. We've seen enough retreats that for once, we can applaud enthusiastically at the resolution.
Conservative true anti-sex agenda revealed. The forced-birth industry has finally outed itself—their primary obsession isn't abortion, it's sex. They hate it. They want women to stop doing it. And if they do it, they want babies to result. (And yes, it's directed at women, because they have no problem with Viagra being covered by insurance.)
In other words, they don't want people to have sex for pleasure. And that's not going to be a winning position because, quite frankly, people like to have sex, and they like to have it without fear of making babies. Conservatives want to wage a battle about the morality of birth control, and they're going to get crushed doing so.
GOP's hypocrisy on religious freedom revealed. Republicans are such staunch defenders of religious freedoms that I'm sure they'll stop opposing the construction of new mosques! And I'm sure they'll jump on the rest of the Catholic social agenda, such as extension of unemployment benefits, passage of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, more aid for the poor and needy, and opposition to unnecessary wars like Iraq, right?
There's a lot of win to go around. The only downside is that Obama has further eroded his support amongst people who think he is the anti-Christ or can do no right. But yeah, who cares. Among people who matter, this was a genuine home run.